Mitzi Gaynor to “go on with the show!” @ “There’s No Business … ” screening

Dance · Film
We are so looking forward to big screen viewing, on its 60th anniversary, of 20th Century-Fox’s star-studded Cinemascope colossus, THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS (1954) next Tuesday, Dec 9 at the Regent Theater. [Everything you ever wanted to know about “There’s No Business” on this amazing webpage… ] The musical, chock filled with great ...

Backstage intimacy from Phil Stern’s camera 1

Film · Music · Visual arts
by 
Hollywood photographers have always had to walk a fine line. Their work is contingent on access to the celebrated, but entree hinges on trust and following implicit rules of privacy. Movie studios have always wanted their actors and directors depicted in the best possible light and they’ve rewarded those whose images flatter most. But good ...

At “Oscars Outdoors,” gentlemen still prefer blondes 1

Dance · Film
It was a super-special 60th anniversary screening, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s “Oscars Outdoors” summer series, of 20th Century-Fox’s comic classic from 1953, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the movie that blasted off the career of Marilyn Monroe. And the flick’s funnier than ever. Lead actresses Monroe and Jane Russell zing out hilarious ...

That pink dress! Costuming Marilyn Monroe for “Diamonds”

Dance · Fashion · Film
At right, Travilla‘s design for Marilyn’s iconic pink dress in “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) whose 60th anniversary we are honoring with a screening at the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” series Saturday August 3. The classy pink dress, lined with felt, was a replacement design for an original, much less ...

Ballet bends-and-stretches for Marilyn 2

Dance · Film
The photos are from a Life Magazine ‘A Day in the Life of a Starlet’ photo spread. Pictured are ballet instructor Nico Charisse (husband of Cyd) and his keen pupil, Marilyn Monroe. Writes Joshua Ireland, who shared the photos with arts·meme: *        *       * “I am working on a research project about Los Angeles dance ...

Review: Quirky master-photog Bert Stern captured in doc 1

Film · Reviews · Visual arts
It doesn’t matter that “Bert Stern: Original Madman” falls short in depicting the hectic life and work of the go-go photographer of the sixties. The documentary, a first major effort by Shannah Laumeister, is unevenly told, biased toward the actress-turned-director’s own personal relationship with Stern, and values cheap story elements over artful ones. Yet the ...

Jack Cole, Hollywood director 2

Dance · Film
On the camera crane works Jack Cole (in white sweater, click photo for detail), directing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” exactly as he did for all four GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) dance numbers (Two Little Girls From Little Rock, Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love, When Love Goes Wrong, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best ...

An actress & her dance coach

Dance · Film
Two utterly amazing human beings, beautiful people, professional collaborators, and personal friends. He wielded enormous influence on her screen persona and on her career. This photo represents, for me, a most delirious encounter between dance and film worlds; nothing from Astaire or Kelly however great, speaks [to me] as powerfully. Here we have Jack Cole, ...

Carol Channing, “Gentlemen”‘s original Lorelei

Film
In the video below, the iconoclastic singer-comedienne Carol Channing delivers two songs from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She’s playing Lorelei, a role she originated on Broadway. Darryl Zanuck, the studio head of 20th Century Fox studio, did not engage Ms. Channing for the 1952 movie. The plum role went instead to you-know-who — a huge gamble ...

Remembering Marilyn

Film
A sad memorial looms this year, the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe, who died of an overdose to barbiturates in August 1962. I recently enjoyed two well made documentaries about Monroe. The Legend of Marilyn Monroe  1966, 16 format, b/w, 53 min, dir Terry Sanders Cast: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lee ...